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Hearts for Heroes

Aloha Aku…Aloha Mae – When love is given, love naturally flows back in return.

Ikaika Van Dyke’s family is no stranger to cancer.  Ikaika vividly remembers when his grandfather, a physician at The Queen’s Medical Center, lost his battle to cancer.  Cancer would strike again year’s later when his mother received the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer.   Watching his mom bravely endure the radiation and chemotherapy treatments, he understood all too well the emotional and physical toll the disease had on a patient and the helplessness felt by their loved ones.  Though it was a challenging time, when he recalls those memories, he also speaks with fondness and gratitude for Queen’s Cancer Center’s physicians and staff.  
Wanting to celebrate and honor his mom Kimʻs cancer survival and share his gratitude for the physicians and staff at Queen’s Cancer Center, Ikaika’s older brother, Parker and friend Claudio Clini, founded the Can-SERVE-Ive beach volleyball tournament to benefit Queen’s Cancer Center.  When Parker left for college, Ikaika jumped at the opportunity to coordinate the tournament with fellow Punahou School student Puna Smith, and a year later they were joined by Teke Bower.

When planning for this year’s 5th annual tournament, everything came to a screeching halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  With planning on hold, he began to think of other ways to express his gratitude.  Then, he happened to hear about the Queen’s Hearts for Heroes project. The Queenʻs Hearts for Heroes initiative stemmed from a collective desire to show appreciation to those that are working on the front lines during this pandemic.  Individuals and students are encouraged to share a small act of kindness by sharing artwork and encouraging words of gratitude for medical staff.  Knowing first-had the kind of care his mother received fromQueen’s physicians and nurses, he knew right away that this was a project he could rally around.   

In fact, Ikaika quickly rallied members of The Luke Center for Public Service at Punahou School where he serves as a Luke Leader, to create personal messages of support and gratitude or inspirational artwork to be given to healthcare providers at Queen’s. He also enlisted the support of the school chaplains who embraced the project and his involvement in such a worthwhile cause. 

“I am grateful for the compassionate care that Queen’s showed to my mom when she was in the hospital and throughout her battle with cancer. The love and concern shown by everyone at Queen’s was amazing.  Hearts for Heroes is just a small way that I can give back to Queen’s for tirelessly caring for their patients. If I can lift the spirits of just one health care worker, I will feel great! After all, when we needed it the most, they were there to lift our spirits and give us hope for a brighter future. said Ikaika.

Art cards and letters delivered continue to lift the spirits of Queen’s health care workers.